School bus crashes into bridge

22:56, May 28 2012
Bus crash Woolston May 29
ACCIDENT: Emergency services at the scene where a bus crashed into a railway bridge in Richardson Tce.

A school bus that crashed into an overhead train bridge in Woolston this morning was just one of a "frequent" number of crashes in the area, a neighbour says.

Seven children and an adult were taken to hospital after the chartered Red Bus crashed into the 2.4-metre bridge in Richardson Tce about 9.15am.

Sergeant Richard Ryan said 24 children, aged 9 to 12, and a number of adults were on board the bus as it travelled from nearby Woolston School to a cross country event at Ferrymead Park.

Seven children suffered minor injuries in the crash, such as cuts, and one had "banged his face on the seat in front", Ryan said.

All were taken to Christchurch Hospital "just to get checked over".

Police had spoken to the driver, who told them he had not driven that route before.

However, the driver still needed to be formally interviewed and it was too early to say what would happen, Ryan said.

"It's odd," Ryan said. "It's more of a shock for the kids. A few of the kids were quite shaken up."

The children would be offered counselling, Ryan said.

Amy Stoop said she heard the crash from inside her house.

"It was really loud," she said.

She rushed outside and saw "distressed and crying" children.

A neighbour had been clearing glass from an earlier crash in the area, when the bus incident happened.

"She waved to him 'slow down, slow down', but he just kept going," Stoop said.

There were "frequent" crashes at the bridge, with many people mistakenly believing they could fit under the 2.4m gap, she said.

"A lot of people have come to grief there - people losing their bikes and Mr Whippy lost his ice cream ... a removal van got stuck there."

The uninjured children had since returned to school on another bus.

Woolston School declined to comment this morning.


The Press